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The introduction and release of Chiasmia inconspicua and C. assimilis (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) for the biological control of Acacia nilotica in Australia

Palmer, W.A. and Lockett, C.J. and Senaratne, K.A.D.W. and McLennan, A. (2007) The introduction and release of Chiasmia inconspicua and C. assimilis (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) for the biological control of Acacia nilotica in Australia. Biological Control, 41 (3). pp. 368-378.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2007.02.009

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

Abstract

Two geometrid moths Chiasmia inconspicua and Chiasmia assimilis, identified as potential biological control agents for prickly acacia Acacia nilotica subsp. indica, were collected in Kenya and imported into quarantine facilities in Australia where laboratory cultures were established. Aspects of the biologies of both insects were studied and CLIMEX® models indicating the climatically favourable areas of Australia were developed. Host range tests were conducted using an approved test list of 74 plant species and no-choice tests of neonate larvae placed on both cut foliage and potted plants. C. inconspicua developed through to adult on prickly acacia and, in small numbers, Acacia pulchella. C. assimilis developed through to adult on prickly acacia and also in very small numbers on A. pulchella, A. deanei, A. decurrens, and A. mearnsii. In all experiments, the response on prickly acacia could be clearly differentiated from the responses on the non-target species. Both insects were approved for release in Australia. Over a three-year period releases were made at multiple sites in north Queensland, almost all in inland areas. There was no evidence of either insect's establishment and both colonies were terminated. A new colony of C. assimilis was subsequently established from insects collected in South Africa and releases of C. assimilis from this new colony were made into coastal and inland infestations of prickly acacia. Establishment was rapid at one coastal site and the insect quickly spread to other infestations. Establishment at one inland area was also confirmed in early 2006. The establishment in coastal areas supported a CLIMEX model that indicated that the climate of coastal areas was more suitable than inland areas.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Crown Copyright. © Elsevier B.V.
Keywords:Biological control; prickly acacia; Acacia nilotica; Chiasmia inconspicua; Chiasmia assimilis.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Science > Invasive Species > Modelling > Animal
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Deposited On:20 Jan 2009 07:34
Last Modified:18 Apr 2011 05:23

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